Victoria Nolan

Toronto, Ontario

Victoria Nolan

Toronto, Ontario

At 18 years old I found out I was going blind.
I have an eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. As my vision gradually became more and more restricted, so did my independence.
When I decided to start a family I knew there was a risk of further vision loss. My husband and I decided to risk it. We had a beautiful, healthy baby boy but I lost a significant amount of sight. Despite the difficulties I faced I knew I wanted a sibling for our son. Two years later we had a beautiful baby girl and I lost more sight.
For the next year I really struggled to deal with my disability and my goals for the future seemed to be over.
The turning point was realizing that I didn't want my children to grow up seeing me as someone who "couldn't" do things.
I took up rowing to force myself to be more independent.
It turned out I was pretty good at it, and I loved it! I also discovered that I am extremely competitive.
In 2007 I made the Canadian National Para Rowing Team. I have competed in the Beijing and London Games and I have won a bronze, silver and gold medal for Canada and in 2010 we broke the World Record.
Sport has given me the confidence to do so many other things, including giving speeches and motivational talks about overcoming obstacles, breaking down barriers about disability and reaching your goals.

  • Work
    • Gledhil Public School
  • Education
    • University of Toronto B.Sc., M.A., OTC